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Yampa River Health Assessment & Streamflow Management Plan

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About the Plan

The City of Steamboat Springs is leading the development of a plan to improve the health and resiliency of the Yampa River during times of drought and in the face of changing future climatic conditions and water use demands. Key objectives of the project are to identify target flows needed to support river health and community needs and to prioritize actions and projects to achieve measurable progress toward these targets.

The plan will be based on a comprehensive assessment of river health using best available data and the involvement of a wide range of stakeholders and the community. City staff has engaged an Advisory Committee to guide the plan’s development and hired a team of consultants with expertise in river science and community planning. The project will address the reach of the Yampa River from Chuck Lewis State Wildlife Area to the City of Steamboat Springs Waste Water Treatment Facility.

Project Reports

Yampa River Health Assessment Report: Download the report to learn more about the health of the Yampa River near Steamboat Springs. Summary Report Cards can be found here

Management Objectives and Targets:  Management objectives are intended to help achieve plan goals and are based on findings of the Yampa River Health Assessment and on input from community stakeholders on their values and priorities related to Yampa River health. 

Tasks and Timeline

    Phase 1 February - April 2017River Sunset sm_thumb.jpg
        • Convene an Advisory Committee
        • Develop a Stakeholder Engagement Plan
        • Assess sources of data, reports, and expertise

    Phase 2 April - November 2017
        • Conduct river health assessment
        • Determine targets for flows and other health goals
        • Evaluate water management strategies
        • Evaluate restoration project opportunities

    Phase 3 November 2017 – April 2018
        • Identify possible scenarios and strategies
        • Evaluate and prioritize alternatives
        • Develop an implementation plan

    Phase 4 April - June 2018
        • Draft plan for review by stakeholders and community
        • Complete plan for presentation to City Council

Community Involvement

Stakeholder and public involvement is a critical component of this planning process. The Yampa River Health Assessment and Streamflow Management Plan require the expertise and involvement of a diverse range of stakeholders and the public. The stakeholder engagement plan includes the creation of an Advisory Committee that meets throughout the process, outreach to multiple stakeholder groups, and community workshops. Our objectives for the community engagement process are to:

  • Build on local knowledge and provide meaningful D_Holekayak_crowd_thumb.jpgopportunities for stakeholders and community members to engage throughout the process;
  • Understand and address diverse perspectives, interests, and needs;
  • Increase education and awareness of issues and opportunities surrounding a healthy Yampa River;
  • Strengthen partnerships for long-term collaboration and success;
  • Create a transparent planning and decision-making process; and
  • Develop solutions supported by local ownership and buy-in.

Community Workshop #1 - 11/6/2017

  • Sign up to receive email updates HERE
  • Participate in community workshop to be held in April.
  • Review and provide input on draft materials when available.

Advisory Committee

The City has convened an Advisory Committee to represent primary stakeholders, guide the planning process, provide technical expertise, and evaluate feasible strategies and solutions. The Advisory Committee is made up of representatives of the following agencies and organizations:

  • City of Steamboat Springs Parks and Community ServicesYampa River sm_thumb.jpg
  • City of Steamboat Springs Public Works
  • Routt County Environmental Health
  • Colorado Parks and Wildlife
  • Colorado Water Trust
  • Community Agriculture Alliance
  • Trout Unlimited – Colorado Water Project
  • Yampa Valley Fly Fishers
  • Friends of the Yampa
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • Upper Yampa Watershed Group
  • Upper Yampa Water Conservancy District

Meeting Summaries

Partners and Funding

Several partners contributed funding to make this project possible. The Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) awarded the City a Watershed Restoration Grant to cover almost half of the project cost. The Yampa/White/Green Basin Roundtable supports the project through Water Supply Reserve Account funding (also from CWCB). The City of Steamboat Springs contributed cash and in-kind match. Routt County and Yampa Valley Fly Fishers also helped to fund the project.

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Yampa River 5th Street Monitoring Site

Real-Time Flows & Temperatures

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Project Contacts
Kelly Romero-Heaney, Water Resources Manager
City of Steamboat Springs

(970) 871-8205; Fax: (970) 879-8851
Julie Baxter, Project Manager
Acclivity Associates

(303) 335-6472

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Consultant Team

The city selected a consultant team through a competitive proposal process to assist in preparing the Streamflow Management Plan. The City has contracted with Acclivity Associates, supported by Lotic Hydrological and EcoMetrics, to complete project management and technical tasks. 

Acclivity Logo_thumb.jpg    EcoMetrics Logo_thumb.jpg    Lotic logo_thumb.png